Monday, September 2, 2013

Reknitting, swatching, and watching

I wanted to knit my Great White Bale yarn sooner rather than later, in order to truly “know” it, so a couple weeks ago I decided to knit the Mapes shawl with Lot 3 (the blue skein). This pattern language seduced me:

They can be made in any yarn to your desired size. Both variegated and handspun yarns work particularly well for these designs because their simplicity does not compete with the beauty of the yarn. Because they are knit until you are done patterns, they are wonderful for using up skeins with unusual or outsized put-ups.

Sounds ideal for a special skein of yarn, right? But somehow, I never hit my groove with Mapes. The pattern calls for you to place and remove the stitch markers on every single row, which was tedious and a little hard to memorize. I just didn’t love it. P1010578

So I ripped it back and start what is possibly the most ubiquitous accessory on Ravelry right now: the Honey Cowl. Over 12,000 people have knit it! Still, it seemed a good fit for a very special, very soft skein of yarn that I will want to snuggle up against my neck. The honeycomb stitch is dead easy and will hold warm air like a dream. P1010579In other news, I finished my Knitters’ Day Out homework. In the morning, I’m taking Crochet for Knitters with Peg Haussmann. Class description:

This class will teach the basics of crocheting, including the chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet. Once these skills are mastered, we will focus on basic crocheted edgings such as the crab stitch and picot edging to enhance your knitting.

And here are my swatches:P1010576 In the afternoon, I’m taking Buttonholes and Bands with Margaret Fisher. Class description:

In this class, you will focus on an important finishing step---working bands and making buttonholes. Master the techniques for picking up stitches as you understand how to make bands look flat and smooth. Learn how to space buttonholes evenly on bands. Practice several different buttonholes and learn how to place them in 1x1 and 2x2 ribs and in seed stitch.

I took a class with Margaret Fisher way back in 2008, and she is a great teacher. I’m looking forward to perfecting some techniques and learning some new tricks. Here’s my homework swatch:

P1010577I’ll look forward to seeing my regular peeps at KDO and meeting new ones (like evianlake… you’ll have to introduce yourself since I don’t know your real name!).

One last tidbit: I recently finished watching Edwardian Farm, 12 delicious episodes of historical documentary/reality television about life in early 20th century Britain. The farm team raises some White-Faced Dartmoors and a good bit of episode 9 (I think it’s 9, maybe 10?) is devoted to shearing the sheep, cleaning the fleeces, and spinning at a historic mill. You just might be interested, too. I’m going to watch Victorian Farm next!

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